The Magick of Willow

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

white willow salix alba_200

It is a tree I’ve long admired. To sit and watch the Willow gently blown by a soft wind is mesmerising and soul-lifting. Willow can truly put you into a state of zen without trying very hard.

Photo from

Perhaps that is best explained in The Faces of WomanSpirit, A Celtic Oracle of Avalon by Katherine Torres, Ph.D. (see below)

Trust All is here and now.

Know it.

Connect with the Hand of Goddess.

Let Divine Mother Transform you.

Be an Example in the World.

Willow asks you to bend with her into the path of retrieval.

Follow the labyrinth trail, connect with the power of wisdom and the rhythm of your soul, and return to your ordinary world strengthened. You will find that your awareness of your purpose is stronger and your intent cannot be broken by the spell of someone else’s desire.

Could not say it better myself. The Willow tree can put you into a state of rightness with the world, only by observation. Imagine what it can do it in magick!

Willow Necklace 1

Willow Ogham Pendant in our Etsy shop with Saille pyrographed on.  photo by i.macy

Willow is the Fifth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 15th April – 12th May and is the Fifth consonant of the Ogham alphabet – Saille being its alphabetical name.  If you are a Willow sign, you are ruled by the moon, and so your personality holds hands with many of the mystical aspects of the lunar realm. This means you are highly creative, intuitive [highly psychic people are born under the sign of the Willow] and intelligent. You have a keen understanding of cycles, and you inherently know that every situation has a season. This gives you a realistic perspective of things, and causes you to be more patient than most tree signs. With your intelligence comes a natural ability to retain knowledge and you often impress your company with the ability to expound on subjects from memory. Willow Celtic tree astrology signs are bursting with potential, but tend to hold themselves back for fear of appearing flamboyant or overindulgent. It is your powers of perception that ultimately allow your true nature to shine, and what leads you to success in life. Willow signs join well with the Birch and the Ivy.

Willow’s Medicinal Value

It is a tree of many, many uses. Most well-known is its active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, contained in Willow’s inner bark. But it has been used for centuries for all sorts. These very bark scrapings were made into astringents and used to reduce fever. Willow was also used as a diuretic, a gargle for sore throats and gums, an external wash for sores, skin problems, wounds and burns.

White Willow was commonly used. Purple Willow has the same general properties as White and may even be more effective in lowering fevers. Black Willow has these same properties and can also be used as a sexual sedative. The Black Willow has also been used to treat gonorrhoea, and to relieve ovarian pain. Goat, or Sallow, Willow eases indigestion, whooping cough, and catarrh and is used as an antiseptic for disinfecting bandages. All varieties of this Tree can be utilised as an eyewash, clearing up of skin problems, and a decoction of leaves and bark, simmered, can be used to treat dandruff. All can also be utilised to prevent recurring fevers and as a digestive tonic, especially for dyspepsia.


The Willow tree is one of the seven sacred Irish trees and is a sacred tree to Druids.

Willow is used for enhancement of psychic abilities.  Orpheus, the poet, was said to have received his Gift by touching the Willows in a grove sacred to Persephone. Groves have been used by many types of artisans to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills and the gift of prophecy. This Tree is held sacred, also, to Minerva, the ancient Great Goddess whose bird, the Wryneck, nests only in the Willow. Cranes are also known to nest here and a grove of Willows with nesting cranes is a symbol of extremely happy domesticity.

Magickal uses are extensive. The Besom, the Witches Broom, is traditionally made from three Trees. The stave is made from Ash, for protection; Birch twigs are used for the broom itself to expel evil spirits. The Besom is bound with Willow to honour Hecate. Willow branches are said to be the best for divining Water, channelling Earth energy, and to find lost objects.

“Clootie” – Scottish or “cloutie” wells are places of pilgrimage in Celtic areas. They are wells or springs, almost always with a tree growing beside them, where strips of cloth or rags have been left, usually tied to the branches of the tree as part of a healing ritual. In Scots nomenclature, a “clootie” or “cloot” is a strip of cloth or rag, a prayer rag, if you will. These can be tied to any Tree, when asking for a nurturing love or a release of grief; Willow will serve this purpose best. By the same token, for a wish to be granted, ask permission of Willow, explaining your desired goal. Select a pliable shoot or branch and tie it into a loose knot while expressing your wish, leaving the branchlet on the Tree! When the wish is fulfilled, return and untie the knot, remembering to thank your Friend and leaving a Gift of gratitude.

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Symbolism: Resonance and Harmony

Stone: Moonstone

Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl

Color: Silver

Deity: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen,

Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit

Sabbat: Beltane

Alone with myself

The trees bend

to caress me

The shade hugs

my heart.

– Candy Polgar

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x


About Isabella

Everything worth knowing, I learned from my Nana. I'm a sixty-six year old cunning woman who practises a solitary English hedgewitch life in as near the old ways as I can. I do not sacrifice small animals, neighbours, nor eat children. I'm more interested in visiting my ancestors on hedgewalks. And, I am owned entirely by my lovely feline companion, Pippa [Lady Philipa Cattington].
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5 Responses to The Magick of Willow

  1. I love the White willow they are so majestic! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Kız Bebekler, Kediler ve Karakterler İçin En İyi Cadı İsimleri - EVIPPE

  3. Mansi says:

    Isabella; Thanku for the article on Willow.. I am just working with it for the first time. There are a couple beautiful willow trees near where I live in Lake Cowichan Vancouver Island. It sounds like you are very knowledgable and I am wondering if you may know of a plant or herb that may help to calm my brain at night when I go to sleep? Medical doctors are giving me sedatives sleeping pills and antidepressants but I would rather go the natural way. I hear a tone in my ear at night despite my being very tired this keeps me awake only unless I am sedated ..can you offer any advices ?
    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isabella says:

      Hello, Mansi! Thank you for your kind words! The tone you hear sounds like tinnitus, love. I have experienced this most of my life and over the years I have learned to accept it and ignore it mostly. In fact, just now reading this made me stop and listen and yes, there it still is. But it has, funnily enough, become a part of me that I simply accept. Doctors may be able to do something for this these days, I don’t know. A few suggestions for a good nights sleep without drugs – turn off all devices at least an hour before retiring such as your phone, computer, tablet or telly. The only time you may want to leave your phone on is if you enjoy listening to things like thunderstorms to fall asleep and you can find many on YouTube which can last for up to 10 hours advert free. If you don’t already, buy blackout curtains for your room. Mind you, some people are more comforted by a little light so only buy them if you prefer total darkness. If you are prone to anxiety a good wood to have by your bed is Magnolia because the bark actually is very soothing. Also, I highly recommend a cup of Chamomile tea before bedtime as it is so very calming. Lastly, you may want to purchase a bottle of Magnesium Glycinate and take one capsule with supper. By bedtime you ought to feel more drowsy than usual as it is excellent for relaxing one’s muscles and preventing leg cramps overnight. I hope these tips help. Good luck x


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